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Found 112 results

  1. Celestron 9.25 at f6.3, SW EQ6R pro, Canon 550 D modded The galaxy group Hickson 44 in Leo. This is based on 29 x 240 s, plus bias and flats. Hickson 44 in Leo: There are some other galaxies near by, some of which are names in this overlay from Astrometry.net: Overlay from Astrometry, naming the other objects: The main ones are NGC 3190, NGC 3185, NGC 3187 and NGC 3193. NGC 3190 has a well defined dust lane. NGC 3187 is a barred spiral galaxy with two arms. NGC 3193 is an elliptical galaxy. The light captured by my camera last night left these galaxies just after the extinction event killed the dinosaurs on Earth. From APOD: Galaxies, like stars, frequently form groups. A group of galaxies is a system containing more than two galaxies but less than the tens or hundreds typically found in a cluster of galaxies. A most notable example is the Local Group of Galaxies, which houses over 30 galaxies including our Milky Way, Andromeda, and the Magellanic Clouds. Pictured above is nearby compact group Hickson 44. This group is located about 60 million light-years away toward the constellation of Leo. Also known as the NGC 3190 Group, Hickson 44 contains several bright spiral galaxies and one bright elliptical galaxy on the upper right. The bright source on the upper left is a foreground star. Many galaxies in Hickson 44 and other compact groups are either slowly merging or gravitationally pulling each other apart. Abell 1367 This image is based on 19 x 300 s , plus flats and bias. It shows a LOT of galaxies, in a grouping called Abell 1367. In this image you are looking at part of one of the biggest structures in the Universe, the Great Wall. Wikipedia: The Leo Cluster (Abell 1367) is a galaxy cluster about 330 million light-years distant (z = 0.022) in the constellation Leo, with at least 70 major galaxies. The galaxy known as NGC 3842 is the brightest member of this cluster. Along with the Coma Cluster, it is one of the two major clusters comprising the Coma Supercluster, which in turn is part of the CfA2 Great Wall, which is hundreds of millions light years long and is one of the largest known structures in the universe. The overlay from Astrometry gives some of the galaxies visible in the image.
  2. The August galaxy of the month (the 100th one actually) from the Webb Society is NGC 7042 in Pegasus. https://www.webbdeepsky.com/galaxies/2019/ So I thought, better get that new 20 inch dob out and try it. The sky was a bit milky and there was a lot of high cloud around but that was not going to stop me! Well I found NGC 7042 fairly easily. You can tell its a spiral as it has that characteristic low surface brightness glow across its entire face. It sits next to a triangle of stars. I then worked hard to see if I could see NGC 7043. I could not see it last time I tried when I had a 14 inch scope. Well this time I got it just! Very faint even with averted vision but definitely there. I managed to see stars to mag 14.9 despite the poor skies. Here is my observation: I also had a look at a few more galaxies on my target list, IC 1473 in Pegasus (within a triangle of stars) and IC1550 in Andromeda. That brings my total galaxies observed up to 1800. Here is IC1550 from Aladin. Perhaps not galaxy of the month but it was special to me as no 1800 and it looks lovely next to that field star. I read that it is about 275 million light years away behind the Perseus-Pisces supercluster wall of galaxies. Another great night of observing with the new 20 inch scope. Do give any of the above targets a go as they are well placed to the east at the moment (which is best for me over the Cotswolds!) and let me know how you get on. Thank you to Owen for the inspiration. Mark
  3. Hi guys, I'm new here. So i have heard from this source: http://www.thescinewsreporter.com/2019/06/in-august-andromeda-galaxy-will-move.html?m=1 that the galaxy andromeda will be visible to the naked eye and look bigger than the moon. They said that it will happen in August, but didn't specify a day. Does anyone know anything about this? Or about how i kann see it? Thanks in advance and sorry if my grammar is bad
  4. Hi, this is my first time using my new Esprit 100ED, my first time processing using Pixinsight, and it's my first image using a Mono + filters. I loved them, can't wait to try on more targets. here's the result: Equipments: SkyWatcher Esprit 100ED SkyWatcher EQ6-R SkyWatcher EvoGuide 50ED Guidescope Imaging cam ZWO ASI1600MM Cool Pro ZWO EFW ZWO LRGB+NB 36mm filters Guiding cam ZWO ASI290MM Mini Seeing was avarage Location was in a Green Zone Exposures: Ha 11x1800sec L 39x300sec R 13x300sec G 15x300sec B 15x300sec Darks: 24x300sec 10x1800sec Bias: 70 Thanks
  5. Hello everyone, So, I come back with a nice galaxy that we don't see often in the astronomy forums. This week-end, I was ready to do some shots on nebula and I installed already the reducer but when I was ready, It was too late to have a shots on my target so I decided to change and to do some shots on this galaxy that is interesting target concerning the polar ring. I was lasy to remove my reducer and to install again the flattener so I was afraid to get small target view but it is ok. Concerning the exposure time, I have done 15 x 600s + 18 x 300s in Luminance (without guiding) : I hope you will like it. Franck
  6. Last of my collection of data from the weekend clear skies. C11 with focal reducer (1760mm), ASI183mm Pro. Astrodon filters. Mesu 200. Pixinsight. M108 25 x 60s Lum 8 x 60s RG&B Thanks for looking Dave
  7. C11 with focal reducer (1760mm), ASI183mm Pro. Astrodon filters. Mesu 200. Pixinsight. 80 x 60s L 30 x 60s RGB 2.8 Hours data. Thanks for looking. Dave.
  8. The Great Barred Spiral Galaxy ( NGC 1365 ) in the Constellation Fornax ………………………. ( edit - star chart added ) The Great Barred Spiral Galaxy ( NGC 1365 ) - Chart ( please click/tap on image see larger and sharper version ) A full size ( 6200 x 4407px ) image can be downloaded from here. ………………………. Details: Below the equator, not seen from much of the Northern hemisphere, NGC 1365 passes very nearly directly overhead an observer situated near Cape Town, as Sir John Herschel was in November of 1837 when he discovered this “remarkable nebula” that is numbered 2552 in his book of observations from the Cape. Not called a “nebula” now, of course, this striking object is one of the nearest and most studied examples of a barred spiral ( SB ) galaxy that also has an active galactic nuclei resulting in its designation as a Seyfert galaxy. At around 60 M light years from Earth, NGC 1365 is still seen to occupy a relatively large area ( 12 by 6 arc minutes ) due to its great size; at some 200,000 light years or so across, NGC 1365 is nearly twice as wide as the Milky Way and considerably wider than both the Sculptor and Andromeda galaxies. This High Dynamic Range ( HDR ) image is built up from multiple exposures ranging from 4 to 240 seconds with the aim of capturing the faint detail in the spiral arms of the galaxy whilst also retaining colour in the brightest star ( the orange-red 7th magnitude giant, HD 22425 ). Also, scattered throughout the image, and somewhat more difficult to see, are numerous and far more distant galaxies. ................. Identification: The Great Barred Spiral Galaxy New General Catalogue - NGC 1365 General Catalogue - GC 731 John Herschel ( Cape of Good Hope ) # 2552 - Nov 28, 29 1837 Principal Galaxy Catlogue - PCG 13179 ESO 358-17 IRAS 03317-3618 RA (2000.0) 3h 33m 37.2 s DEC (2000.0) -36 deg 8' 36.5" 10th magnitude Seyfert-type galaxy in the Fornaux cluster of galaxies 200 Kly diameter 60 Mly distance .................. Capture Details: Telescope: Orion Optics CT12 Newtonian ( mirror 300mm, fl 1200mm, f4 ). Corrector: ASA 2" Coma Corrector Quattro 1.175x. Effective Focal Length / Aperture : 1375mm f4.7 Mount: Skywatcher EQ8 Guiding: TSOAG9 Off-Axis-Guider, Starlight Xpress Lodestar X2, PHD2 Camera: Nikon D5300 (unmodified) (sensor 23.5 x 15.6mm, 6016x4016 3.9um pixels) Location: Blue Mountains, Australia Moderate light pollution ( pale green zone on darksitefinder.com map ) Capture ( 3, 7 & 8 Dec 2018 ) 7 sets of sub-images with exposure duration for each set doubling ( 4s to 240s ) all at unity gain ( ISO 250). 140 x 240s + 10 each @ 4s to 120s total around 9.7 hrs Processing ( Pixinsight ) Calibration: master bias, master flat , master dark Integration in 7 sets HDR combination Links: 500px.com/MikeODay photo.net/photos/MikeODay <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/mike-oday">www.flickr.com/photos/mike-oday</a> Image Plate Solution =================================== Resolution ........ 0.586 arcsec/px ( full size image ) Rotation .......... -0.003 deg ( North is up ) Field of view ..... 58' 37" x 38' 55" Image center ...... RA: 03 33 36 Dec: -36 08 27 ===================================
  9. M31 testing to find the happy settings for when the heat and humidity leaves taken 4 nights after Florence saturated the Carolinas with water. taken in not ideal conditions but, I was having withdrawals. I needed to test out different settings to see which would give me the better data , UG or HDR and guess which one out? Stars are a lot better since I got my autoguiding going , now to get rid of the boil and clouds.
  10. Rotation of the whole universe around the common center of mass. It is possible to detect when observing galactic accumulations. Such clusters, which are more shaped in the shape of a plutonium, move in orbit around the center of mass. Those that are irregular; fall in the center or additionally have one more motion vector parallel to the axis of rotation. For falling, you can determine the diameter of this "megascope". Accidentally came to such a marijuana. P.S. I do not know much English yet, so the translator
  11. Galaxy NGC 4945 in Centaurus Details: Galaxy NGC 4945 in Centaurus 19 May 2018 Orientation: North is up Telescope: Orion Optics CT12 Newtonian ( mirror 300mm, fl 1200mm, f4 ). Corrector: ASA 2" Coma Corrector Quattro 1.175x. Effective Focal Length / Aperture : 1470mm f4.7\ Mount: Skywatcher EQ8 Guiding: TSOAG9 Off-Axis-Guider, Starlight Xpress Lodestar X2, PHD2 Camera: Nikon D5300 (unmodified) (sensor 23.5 x 15.6mm, 6016x4016 3.91um pixels) image Plate Solver script version 5.0 =========== Resolution ........ 0.586 arcsec/px Rotation .......... North is up Focal ............. 1375.43 mm Pixel size ........ 3.91 um Field of view ..... 43' 27.2" x 28' 54.2" Image center ...... RA: 13 04 51.790 Dec: -49 30 37.17 ========== Location: Blue Mountains, Australia Moderate light pollution ( pale green zone on darksitefinder.com map ) Capture ( 19 May 2018 ): 10 sets of sub-images with exposure duration for each set doubling ( 1/2th sec to 240 sec ) all at ISO250. ( 41 x 240sec + ~8 each forthe other durations ) Processing: Calibration: master bias, master flat and master dark Integration in 10 sets HDR combination Pixinsight May 2018
  12. Yet another Markarian's Chain image. I tried to ' dither' between shots (with the camera, that is, as opposed to me dithering) for the first time ever, but the tie it takes to dither meant that I lost 30 minutes of images, so this is based on around 80 mins (180 s exposures at iso 1600). The Astrometry images shows why this is an amazing sight in the sky - how many civilisations are there in those galaxies?
  13. TECHNICAL: R 20x480s | G 20x480s | B 20x480s | Artificial Flat Frame | ATIK414ex, Baader RGB filters, ASI120mm guiding though PHD2 | Meade LX90 8" SCT reduced to f/6.3 Recently moved to a small beach/hamlet near Looe in Cornwall, and despite a street lamp being 15m away from my imaging spot, the skies here are significantly dark than any where else I have lived, so thought I'd try them out with a galaxy broadband image. Needless to say, I am looking forward to more clear nights! I tried making flat frames via the dusk light method, and no matter how little or much exposure I gave the image, DSS made the edges glow and the image extra noisy, not sure what I am doing wrong, so used the artificial flat frame method, which works well enough, just a bit more time consuming. I haven't imaged galaxies regularly, indeed, this is my fourth attempt at such an object and I need more practice, I got more data, indeed got 30xchannel in the end, but somehow couldn't get back to this colour balance and detail, so kept the smaller data set version. Anyhow, thanks for looking, really do love galaxies!
  14. Hi, I have been plucking away with PI at this data I have of the Leo Triplet for a few days now, and I just can't get it right. Particularly color is causing me problems.. It seems to come out either very red, or really low on color. I am hoping someone would give it a whirl and see wha they can get, and maybe point me in the right direction (maybe @wimvb pretty please! :)). As I use PI it would be preferable if someone with PI would try, but anyone is more than welcome to try. The data was captured with a modified EOS 600D and an Optolong CLS-CCD filter. Stack consists of 37x240s frames at ISO1600 - calibrated with Bias, Flats and Darks in PI (Total integration: 148 minutes) https://www.dropbox.com/s/n3nerojediicz7x/integration.tif?dl=0 This is where I am at currently: Is it a matter of an 80mm refractor + DSLR not beign up to the task of capturing something like this? Clear skies! //Johannes
  15. Hello, This is my first astrophotography with my own scope (and first light for this scope). I've always been fascinated with this galaxy, and it was my childhood dream to capture it. It finally happened ;-) You'll find all the technical details on the description on flickr. Overall it's the first light of my skywatcher Quattro 250mm/1000mm f4, NEQ6, with an unmodded Canon 6D. Integration time: 1h59 Processed with PixInsight. link to flickr for the full resolution and description:
  16. Taken at Taurus Hill Observatory 5th of February with 16" f/8 SCT and SBIG STT8300M on Paramount ME mark I. L 6x600s, R 1x600s, G 1x600s, B 1x600s = total exposure time 1.5 hours. Clouds rolled in faster than expected, but this came out OK after all. Seeing wasnt really good, so its bit blurry.
  17. Took this photo of the Markarian's Chain during my visit to Namibia in April 2017. Photo Details: 8 x 10Min Lum channel. 15 Min for each RGB channel Telescope: ASA 12'' F3.6 Mount: ASA DDM85 Camera: FLI8300 Mono with Astrodon filters Thanks for watching, Haim Huli
  18. ( please click/tap image to see larger ) Identification: The Great Barred Spiral Galaxy New General Catalogue - NGC 1365 General Catalogue - GC 731 John Herschel ( Cape of Good Hope ) # 2552 - Nov 28, 29 1837 Principal Galaxy Catlogue - PCG 13179 ESO 358-17 IRAS 03317-3618 RA (2000.0) 3h 33m 37.2 s DEC (2000.0) -36 deg 8' 36.5" 10th magnitude Seyfert-type galaxy in the Fornaux cluster of galaxies 200 Kly diameter 60 Mly distance .................. Capture Details: Telescope: Orion Optics CT12 Newtonian ( mirror 300mm, fl 1200mm, f4 ). Corrector: ASA 2" Coma Corrector Quattro 1.175x. Effective Focal Length / Aperture : 1400mm f4.7 Mount: Skywatcher EQ Guiding: TSOAG9 Off-Axis-Guider, Starlight Xpress Lodestar X2, PHD2 Camera: Nikon D7500 (unmodified) (sensor 23.5 x 15.7mm, 5568x3712 @ 4.196um pixels) Location: Blue Mountains, Australia Moderate light pollution ( pale green zone on darksitefinder.com map ) Capture ( 24 Dec 2017 ) 7 sets of sub-images with exposure duration for each set doubling ( 4s to 240s ) all at ISO400. 52 x 240s + 5 each @ 4s to 120s total around 2.5hrs Processing ( Pixinsight ) Calibration: master bias, master flat and no darks Integration in 7 sets HDR combination Image - Plate Solution ========================================== Resolution ........ 1.328 arcsec/px Rotation .......... -0.008 deg ( North is up ) Field of view ..... 58' 8.6" x 38' 47.5" Image center ...... RA: 03 33 41.182 Dec: -36 07 46.71 ==========================================
  19. The Great Barred Spiral Galaxy ( NGC 1365 ) in the constellation Fornax edit: new version with new long exposure data ( 52 x 240sec ) and better dark subtraction / dithering to remove streaks in the noise and amp glow. This also allowed for a greater stretch revealing more faint data in the galaxy and small faint fuzzies in the image .. The Great Barred Spiral Galaxy ( NGC 1365 ) in Fornax ( please click / tap to see larger ) and below I have added a 100% crop of new version: ........ original image: NGC 1365 ( please click / tap on image to see larger ) ............... The Great Barred Spiral Galaxy ( NGC 1365 ) in the Constellation Fornax Below the equator, not seen from much of the Northern hemisphere, NGC 1365 passes very nearly directly overhead an observer situated near Cape Town, as Sir John Herschel was in November of 1837, or near Sydney, as I was, almost exactly 180 years later, when I photographed this “remarkable nebula” that is numbered 2552 in his book of observations from the Cape. Not called a “nebula” now, of course, this striking object is one of the nearest and most studied examples of a barred spiral ( SB ) galaxy that also has an active galactic nuclei resulting in its designation as a Seyfert galaxy. At around 60 M light years from Earth, NGC 1365 is still seen to occupy a relatively large area ( 12 by 6 arc minutes ) due to its great size; at some 200,000 light years or so across, NGC 1365 is nearly twice as wide as the Milky Way and considerably wider than both the Sculptor and Andromeda galaxies. This High Dynamic Range ( HDR ) image is built up from multiple exposures ranging from 4 to 120 seconds with the aim of capturing the faint detail in the spiral arms of the galaxy whilst also retaining colour in the brightest star ( the orange-red 7th magnitude giant, HD 22425 ). Also, scattered throughout the image, and somewhat more difficult to see, are numerous and far more distant galaxies with apparent magnitudes of 16 to 18 or greater. Mike O'Day ................. Identification: The Great Barred Spiral Galaxy New General Catalogue - NGC 1365 General Catalogue - GC 731 John Herschel ( Cape of Good Hope ) # 2552 - Nov 28, 29 1837 Principal Galaxy Catlogue - PCG 13179 ESO 358-17 IRAS 03317-3618 RA (2000.0) 3h 33m 37.2 s DEC (2000.0) -36 deg 8' 36.5" 10th magnitude Seyfert-type galaxy in the Fornaux cluster of galaxies 200 Kly diameter 60 Mly distance .................. Capture Details: Telescope: Orion Optics CT12 Newtonian ( mirror 300mm, fl 1200mm, f4 ). Corrector: ASA 2" Coma Corrector Quattro 1.175x. Effective Focal Length / Aperture : 1400mm f4.7 Mount: Skywatcher EQ Guiding: TSOAG9 Off-Axis-Guider, Starlight Xpress Lodestar X2, PHD2 Camera: Nikon D7500 (unmodified) (sensor 23.5 x 15.7mm, 5568x3712 @ 4.196um pixels) Location: Blue Mountains, Australia Moderate light pollution ( pale green zone on darksitefinder.com map ) Capture ( 22 Nov 2017 ) 6 sets of sub-images with exposure duration for each set doubling ( 4s to 120s ) all at ISO400. 70 x 120s + 5 each @ 4s to 60s total around 2.5hrs Processing ( Pixinsight ) Calibration: master bias, master flat and no darks Integration in 6 sets HDR combination Image - Plate Solution ========================================== Resolution ........ 1.328 arcsec/px Rotation .......... -0.008 deg ( North is up ) Field of view ..... 58' 8.6" x 38' 47.5" Image center ...... RA: 03 33 41.182 Dec: -36 07 46.71 ==========================================
  20. Spiral Galaxy NGC 6744 in Pavo NGC 6744 is a Milky Way like barred spiral galaxy in the constellation Pavo. Visible only from lower latitudes, the light we see now left this galaxy around 25 million years ago. NGC 6744 in Pavo ( please click / tap on image to see larger and sharper ) Capture Details: North is up. Telescope: Orion Optics CT12 Newtonian ( mirror 300mm, fl 1200mm, f4 ). Corrector: ASA 2" Coma Corrector Quattro 1.175x. Effective Focal Length / Aperture : 1400mm f4.7. Mount: Skywatcher EQ8. Guiding: TSOAG9 Off-Axis-Guider, Starlight Xpress Lodestar X2, PHD2 . Camera: Nikon D5300 (unmodified) (sensor 23.5 x 15.6mm, 6016x4016 3.9um pixels). Location: Blue Mountains, Australia Moderate light pollution ( pale green zone on darksitefinder.com map ). Capture ( 16, 17, 19 Sept. 2017 ). 9 sets of sub-images with exposure duration for each set doubling ( 1s to 240s ) all at ISO800. 85 x 240s + 5 each @ 1s to 120s. Processing ( Pixinsight - 5-17 Nov 2017 ). Calibration: master bias, master flat and no darks. Integration in 9 sets. HDR combination PhotometricColorCalibration Arcsinh stretch ( function written by Mark Shelley ) Image Plate Solver - NGC 6744 - Sept 17, 2017 =================================== Resolution ........ 0.586 arcsec/px ( full size image ) Rotation ............ 0.001 deg. Focal ................. 1372.24 mm. Pixel size ........ ..3.90 um. Field of view ..... 58' 30.3" x 38' 59.0". Image center ...... RA: 19 09 46.591 Dec: -63 51 13.44 ==================================
  21. From the album: Deep Sky Imaging

    This is a 7 hour exposure of the M74 galaxy using a astro full specturm modded Canon 40D DSLR through a IR Cut filter. The image is taken with a Celestron 8" SCT at F6.3 through a focal reducer(1280mm focal length). The image consists of mostly 450s subs and approximately 1 hours of 120s subs, all at ISO 800. This galaxy is located at about 30 Million Light years distance from us, at for a magnitude 10 object it did seem like quite a faint object to image, this could be due to the it's low altitude throughout the whole exposure and a little bit of city light pollution in that part of the sky.
  22. From the album: Deep Sky Imaging

    This is a 10 hour exposure of the NGC1055 galaxy using a standard Canon DSLR. The image is taken with a Celestron 8" SCT at F10 (2032mm focal length). The image consists of mostly 600s subs and approximately 2 hours of 90-150s subs, all at ISO 800. This galaxy is located at about 60 Million Light years distance from us, and at a magnitude of 12.5 is quite a faint object to image, especially when there is a little bit of light pollution with in the par of the sky it is imaged at... Looking at the result, I probably should have used the f6.3 FR to have less over sampling and most likely capturing more light in the same amount of time, or same amount in less time... end result most probably, at worst, would have been the same if not very similar and at best there might have been a bit more detail captured since guiding at 63% of the focal length and not oversamplig the subs would not be as susceptible to seeing/star fluctuations/movement.
  23. Sir John Herschel at the Cape of Good Hope Having spent the years 1825 to 1833 cataloguing the double stars, nebulae and clusters of stars visible from Slough, in the south of England, John Herschel, together with his family and telescopes, set sail from Portsmouth on the 13th of November 1833 bound for Cape Town. As detailed below, in an extract from his book, the family enjoyed a pleasant and uneventful voyage and arrived some 5 months later at Table Bay with all family and instruments in good condition. Reading on however, one might very well think that it might not have ended so well had they but left shortly after ... “... (iii.) Accordingly, having- placed the instrument in question, as well as an equatorially mounted achromatic telescope of five inches aperture, and seven feet focal length, by Tulley, which had served me for the measurement of double stars in England; together with such other astronomical apparatus as I possessed, in a fitting condition for the work, and taken every precaution, by secure packing, to insure their safe arrival in an effective state, at their destination, they were conveyed (principally by water carriage) to London, and there shipped on board the Mount Stewart Elpliinstone, an East India Company's ship, Richardson,Esq. Commander, in which, having taken passage for myself and family for the Cape of Good Hope, we joined company at Portsmouth, and sailing thence on the13th November, 1833, arrived, by the blessing of Providence, safely in Table Bay, on the 15th January, 1834, and landed the next morning, after a pleasant voyage, diversified by few nautical incidents, and without seeing land in the interim. It was most fortunate that, availing himself of a very brief opportunity afforded by a favorable change of wind, our captain put to sea when he did, as we subsequently heard that, immediately after our leaving Portsmouth, and getting out to sea, an awful hurricane had occurred from the S. W. (of which we experienced nothing), followed by a series of south-west gales, which prevented any vessel sailing for six weeks. In effect, the first arrival from England, after our own, was that of the Claudine, on the 4th of April, with letters dated January 1st.(iv.) ...” “Result of Astronomical Observations, Made During the Years 1834, 5, 6, 7, 8, At the Cape of Good Hope ... “ by Sir John Herschel, 1847 John Herschel rented a property and set up the twenty foot reflector near Table Mountain, at a site, that was then, just outside of Cape Town. The Twenty Feet Reflector at Feldhausen, Cape of Good Hope, South Africa, 1834 This telescope was made by Herschel in England and transported, along with his other instruments, by ship to Cape Town and then inland to Feldhausen. The telescope is a Newtonian reflector, built to William Herschel’s design, with a focal length of 20 feet and clear aperture of 18 1/4 inches ( f13 ). The location of the telescope was established by careful survey to be: lat 33d 55’ 56.55”, long 22h 46’ 9.11” W ( or 18.462 deg E ). The site of the great telescope was memorialised by the people of Cape Town by the erection of a granite column that is still there today. ............. Observations of the Sculptor Galaxy Amongst his many thousands of observations made from Cape Town, of nebulae, clusters of stars, double stars, the sun, etc., Sir John Herschel records that he observed V.1 ( CH10 - Caroline’s Nebula - the Sculptor Galaxy ) during two different “sweeps” and gave it the number 2345 in his South African catalogue. Sweeps: 646 - 20th November 1835; 733 - 12th September 1836 At the latitude of Feldhausen, and on these dates, the Sculptor galaxy would have been at an altitude around 80 degrees above the northern horizon when near the meridian ( which was where the telescope was pointed during Herschel’s “sweeps” ). The sight afforded from this location, with the Sculptor Galaxy almost at the zenith, must have been significantly brighter and clearer than the Herschels had thus far been granted from its location way down near the horizon south of Slough. .......... Other Obsevations by John Herschel from Cape Town Also observed by John Herschel in 1835 were the people and animals that inhabit the moon ... The Great Moon Hoax of 1825 - “Lunar Animals and other Objects, Discovered by Sir John Herschel in his Observatory at the Cape of Good Hope ... “
  24. I finally got out for another night of viewing. My last night out was almost 2 weeks ago, and was plagued by technical difficulties, resulting in a rather disappointing night compared to expectations. Since then work prevented me from getting out, then just as I had an opportunity with clear skies I threw my back out and was laid up for 2 days. By the time I was on my feet again, the clouds had rolled in and I was left being a computer astronomer for several more days. Last night the skies cleared so I loaded up the truck and headed to my dark site, roughly 5 minutes from my house. Seeing conditions were excellent with clear, cold skies and dark site conditions. I was able to see a magnitude 6.0 star with my naked eye, and Andromeda was clearly visible without optics. I brought with me several new EPs and a new UHC filter. I also brought with my my girlfriend, complete with a sleeping bag to bundle her in so we could try to spot some meteors between messing around with the telescope and camera. We were set up and looking skyward by 20:15. I had only peered through my new EPs twice before, and they hadn't had a night to do them justice, so I decided to start with some old familiar objects to give me some reference. I looked at M13 and M31, then turned the scope up to M57. I was using my Explore Scientific 18mm 82* EP with a new 2" dielectric diagonal. This was an upgrade from the standard Celestron equipment that comes stock with the scope. To say the views were amazing would be an understatement. I was blown away. M13 especially stands out in my mind as a real surprise last night. It totally filled the EP, and the stars so numerous it dazzled me and boggled my mind all at once. M31 really stood out as well, totally filling the eyepiece. Truly amazing. Once I was content that the scope was cool and I had everything focused and tuned, I began searching the sky for a few new galaxies including M81 and M82. I had hoped to spy M101 for my first time, but it was a touch low on the horizon to make out well. I turned the scope to M33 instead and was treated to an incredible sight. It stood out strong in the dark sky, and I looked long and hard and could swear that I could just barely make out some spiral arms. Now it was time for the next test. I screwed the UHC filter onto the EP and went searching for nebulas, both familiar and new to me. I'll put a list below of object I saw, but some highlights were as follow: The Dumbbell Nebula was quite a site. I could clearly make out the shape (looks more like an apple core to me ). I then swung around to the Little Dumbbell, my first time viewing it. I was surprised how little it was, but could make it out very clearly. The Lagoon Nebula was nice, as was Omega Nebula. However, in the south sky the Eagle Nebula really stole my attention last night. I could make out a lot of nebulosity, and was pulled in and hypnotized by it. I had trouble leaving that object. I went on to view some diffuse nebulas that I had never seen, and had great luck finding them. There were a few misses, but I think I found 75% or so of all the new objects I looked for. It was a wonderful night. Before taking a break I decided to take a look up toward Uranus, and it appeared as a beautiful little light blue disk, the first time I had seen it as such. Neptune was more of just a tiny speck of light, but I found it as well. After a break for hot cocoa I switched the EP over to a 30MM 82* and jumped around the sky looking at familiar objects. I had intended to seek some new clusters and perhaps some double stars, but ended up getting totally caught up in just surfing around enjoying the views of what I knew. I looked at the Pleiades for a long time, as well as the Hyades. I spend quite a bit of time viewing Capella, Rigel, and Betelgeuse, and really enjoyed taking the time to make out the slight differences in magnitude and color. I then swung the scope over to Cygnus and just surfed around through the billions of stars making the highway through the sky that the swan looks to be following. It is still hard for me to believe the sheer number of stars out there. I grew up under dark skies and am no stranger to the Milky Way and being able to see millions of stars with the naked eye. However, when you turn that scope upward, you realize there are exponentially more all around, and it's humbling. We are so small, and what we are taking in is so vast. It seems impossible. I ended the night viewing the Great Orion Nebula. I didn't even bother putting the filter on, and through the 30MM EP it was absolutely stunning. I had never seen it quite like that, and I spend a very long time taking it in, my jaw on the ground. It was a really beautiful end to the evening. While I had been messing about with the scope, my girlfriend had a camera set up on a tripod, and managed to capture some wonderful Milky Way and Constellation pictures. When we finally put away all the toys, we both just laid back on the tarp and spend about 45 minutes watching for the Orionids. By the end of the night we saw a combined total of between 20 and 30 meteors, most of which were relatively dim. It was a nice bonus. In the end we were viewing for over 4 hours, and had an incredible successful night! List of object observed (items with asterisk were first lights for me!): Nebulas: M1*; M8; M16; M17; M27; M42; M43; M57; M76*; NGC1491*; NGC6543*; NGC6781*; NGC6804*; NGC7008* Galaxies and Clusters: M13; M31; M32; M81*; M82*; M110; Plants: Uranus; Neptune
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